P&O Cruises UK announced that the Britannia will feature refreshed interiors following its October stay at Damen shipyard in Brest.
The atrium will be given a new lease of life creating a lively social hub at the heart of the ship, day and night, the company said.
This space will have new eye-catching colour schemes, fresh design direction, relaxed entertainment, live music and informal performances all under the sparkling Starburst chandelier.
Following the success of temporary art exhibitions on Britannia, P&O Cruises is introducing a permanent new art gallery next to Blue Bar. The deck 5 experience can be completed by savouring some sweet treats from master pâtissier and Food Hero Eric Lanlard at The Market Café. The popular spot has already benefited from new furniture and décor, as well as a menu with decadent ice cream creations made in an exclusive collaboration with Hampshire dairy, Jude’s, the company said.
Guests will now have even more reason to check into the Oasis Spa and Salon with the creation of two express spa pods boasting a range of treatments.
On deck 7, Java café will now serve alcoholic drinks; guests can relax with a drink and enjoy the birds-eye view of the action below. Also on deck 7, the photo gallery will include a Dixon’s electronics hub featuring the latest imaging, computing and audio tech from Amazon, Apple, Beats, Bose, Canon, Fitbit, GoPro, Microsoft, and Sony, among others.
Britannia will be back in Southampton on October 23 for a two-night cruise to Bruges (B929) before it’s transatlantic crossing (B930) to the Caribbean.
A key stage in the construction of the P&O Iona has been marked at Meyer Werft as the P&O newbuild and yard team celebrated the milestone with the traditional coin-laying ceremony for the 180,000-ton LNG-fueled vessel.
A bronze coin from the historic Iona Abbey and a slice of precious green Iona marble from the island were placed under the block housing the bow thrusters before the block was then lowered onto these items.
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “This was an auspicious occasion in Iona’s build. The coin-laying is a long-held ship-building tradition which is to bring good luck to the ship and its crew through from construction to the future at sea.
“It is very special to think that a small part of the island of Iona will live within our own Iona. We hope that the qualities of beauty, heritage, pride, camaraderie, mutual support and loyalty from the island which attracted us to the name will be inherent in our ship, its crew and guests.
“The build of any ship is an incredible achievement but to see one of this size and scope is an extraordinary feat of skilled design and engineering. To view Iona’s SkyDome take shape was literally breath-taking – no other ship in the world has a glass dome of this quality of construction and scale. The extent of the space on Iona has allowed us to create not only spectacular spaces for shows, entertainment, dining and wellness but also many more intimate spaces for tranquillity and relaxation as well as exclusive performances. Iona will be game-changer for holidays.”
As part of the ceremony the ship’s central steel block, the mega block, which has already been constructed was floated out on to the water, according to a press release.
The 21.5-metre long block weighs 461 tons, is 19.4 metres wide and 9.8 metres high and had to be lifted by a 600-ton crane.
P&O Cruises has issued a series of promises to its passengers in a bid to ease any fears over Brexit.
As uncertainty mounts over the UK leaving the EU, the line reminded passengers they will avoid foreign currency fluctuations due to onboard spending being in pound sterling.
P&O Cruises also reminded passengers that all cruises with the line will be protected by Atol and Abta.
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “We want to reassure our guests that whatever is happening in the world of politics, their holiday and peace of mind is of the utmost important to us.
“Our Brexit promise is that no matter what the future brings, our guests can rest assured when booking a P&O Cruises holiday as they will always pay in pounds sterling in advance and can take advantage of a low deposit to secure their holiday.
He added: “Also, a P&O Cruises holiday offers unbeatable value as so much is included as standard including meals, entertainment, children’s clubs, flights and taxes.
“With sailings directly from Southampton and by choosing shore excursions in advance, our guests can explore Europe without the need for euros.
“In addition, the currency on the ships is pounds which covers all shopping, dining, drinks, indulgent treatments in the spa and a range of shops with favourite British jewellery, clothing and cosmetic brands. We also have the protection of both Atol and Abta.
“With over 180 years of P&O history and expertise, we guarantee to manage any potential impact on holiday plans and help our customers sail through Brexit and onto their next cruise.”